Starring Yellow Magic Orchestra and David Brooks Palmer, YMO Propaganda is a 1984 musical film directed by Shin Saito. The film originally premiered theatrically throughout Japan in 1984 and is considered by some to be the best visual work from ‘Y.M.O.’Read More »
Adapted from the Seicho Matsumoto story “Tazutazushi”. Ryohei Suzuki, a manager at a travel company, is married to his superior’s daughter, but tires of their authority over his life. A chance encounter with Yukiko Hirai one rainy night brings a new romance into Ryohei’s life, and he and Yukiko fall deeply in love. Yukiko, however, reveals that she has a violent husband in prison – with only a week left until his release. Ryohei, desperate to maintain his social standing, brings Yukiko to the mountains in Nagano and sets in motion an unthinkable, tragic chain of events.Read More »
In 1983, photographer Gocho Shigeo met an early death at the young age of 36. The view we see reflected in Gocho’s photographic images has become more profound over time since his death and has struck a chord in people’s hearts. While focusing on Gocho’s collection of photographs Self and Others, the film also visits places associated with him, creating a collage with the manuscripts, letters, photographs and voice recordings remaining in an attempt to capture “one more gesture”—a theme pursued by Gocho through photographic expression. This film is neither a critical biography nor a monograph on the photographer. Rather, we are offered a new perception. As if mesmerized, the photographs Gocho left behind captivate us in their gaze.Read More »
2001-2010DocumentaryEthnographic CinemaExperimentalJapanMakoto Satô
Satō Makoto discovered documentary film when he visited Minamata (well known as the former site of an environmental disaster) as a student, and worked on Katori Naotaka’s The Innocent Sea. While touring Japan with the film, he met people who lived by the polluted Agano River in Niigata and decided to make a film about them. Living there with seven crew members for three years, Living on the River Agano was completed in 1992 and showed people who live with the river and work in agriculture and fishing, quietly probing the cruelty of nature destroyed. Ten years later, and after attending several funerals of people who appeared in the first feature, the team returned to the area. The resulting film Memories of Agano is a ghostly poem on people, fields, stories, songs and buildings receding into absence, the power of images and the strength of sound to revive the past.Read More »
This hilarious movie catapults two youngsters hitting puberty into the opposite sex after a fall from which they recover in each other’s bodies. The timid sensitive girl becomes the effeminate insecure boy, and the unredeeming prankster becomes the loud clumsy girl with a chip on her shoulder. Both lead actors do tremendous jobs portraying the opposite sex, and often do so delivering more than a laugh. It ends in a bittersweet tone, but it is a really cute movie with hilarious moments.Read More »
A single mother’s ex-husband refuses to pay for their son’s schooling. While working in hospice care, a dying patient offers to kill her ex-husband psychically so their son will collect life insurance. When her ex-husband turns up dead, she becomes the prime suspect.Read More »
In this Japanese samurai adventure, a brave, highly principled warrior resigns his post as a body guard to the head of a powerful clan after he learns that his employers have been smuggling arms to the enemy. The remaining samurai try in vain to coerce him back, but their efforts are thwarted by crooked warriors who launch an attack.
The sword fights are especially exciting.Read More »
1991-2000DocumentaryEthnographic CinemaJapanMakoto Satô
In 1964, a chemical factory in Niigata Prefecture dumped mercury into the Agano River, the beginning of a manmade tragedy that would affect locals for years to come. Mercury poisoning led to high occurrences of Minamata disease, a neurological syndrome that causes severe physical and psychological ailments and death. Sato Makoto and his crew of seven spent three years in Niigata documenting the life and thoughts of locals.Read More »
Late Nikkatsu Action – One of Hasebe’s last for the studio before the Roman Porno films genre became their mainstay.
Nikkatsu Classic Library wrote:
The Akiba and Shimura crime families run the streets of “K City.” With the construction of new buildings and new factories underway, the city has sprouted into a boomtown and business is good. Two of the most infamous mobs of Tokyo take notice and want a piece of the pie. As out-of-town yakuza flood the city overnight, the crime boss of the Akiba family, Tezuka (Jo Shishido), is released from prison after a five year sentence. He does not like the “change” he sees.Read More »